Soil Bag Gardening for Home Vegetables | gardening

Bag Gardening Advantages:Here is the easiest way to get started gardening for a beginner. Raise your vegetable in the bag the soil comes in. Yes it really works. I know several old timer gardeners that use this same method rather than tackling a large traditional garden. This method is easy, low cost, and a quick way to get started with a garden. No digging, plowing, tilling, soil testing, or building expensive raised beds. It is easy convenient and a fun way to get your family involved with growing your own food.Things You Will Need to Start Your Bag Gardening ProjectHere is what you will need. A two cubic foot bagged soil, prefer potting soil and the number of plants or seed you will plant. I recommend using pre grown transplants if you are just getting started. The best plants to start with are leafy vegetables like leaf lettuce, spinach, arugula, or swiss chard. You will also need a knife or scissors to cut holes in bag, a tape measure, and I use duct tape on the seams to avoid bag brakeage. This is optional as well as newspaper as a weed barrier under the bags.Bag Gardening Disadvantages:There are some disadvantages of gardening in a bag they include the bags are not very eye appealing and have a potential of ripping open when attacked by a weed eater or a mower. Because the soil in a bag is much like a container planting so it take more water management skills. The biggest concern people have is it is not organic because it is grown in plastic. It is a good point that most organic soils is shipped in plastic bags, so is it really organic?Bag Gardening Procedure:Choose a sunny location Have easy access to water. You can use multiple bags depending how many vegetables you will want to enjoy. The best plants to start with are leafy vegetables, leaf lettuce, spinach, arugula, swiss chard, after you get these mastered try peas, kohlrabi, bush beans, tomatoes peppers, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, eggplant, and herbs like parsley or basil. I would avoid squash, pumpkins and melons and root crops. If you have had success raising these vine and root crops in a bag please let us know the secrets. Here is about how many plants will grow in a 2 cubic foot bag square foot gardening planting rate: 1 plants: tomatoes, peppers, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower; 9 plants: bush beans, spinach; 12 plants: arugula, leaf lettuce, parsley, swiss chard; and 16 plants: kohlrabi, micro greens.In a two cubic foot bagged of potting soil I duct tape the seams to prevent bag breakage. Then I poke 12 small holes in the bottom for drainage, flip it over and mark the top for where the plants holes will be cut. You are then ready to cut the holes for the plants by Cut an X in the bags the minimum size to plant transplant, or one square inch if you are planting seeds. You do not need to take any soil from the bag. Push the soil back in bag in the bag just deep enough to pant the transplant or seeds. Place the transplant or seeds in the soil and make sure you have good contact with the roots of the transplants or seeds. If you planned seeds, cut the plastic flaps off so the sun can help germinate the seeds quicker.One week after planting make sure there is only one plant per hole. This process is called thinning. One plant will produce more vegetables than two plants growing close together. I have tested this theory, even though it hurts to pull out the extra plants it is the best. It is common for transplant producers to leave multiple plants in a single plant pack cell. My last purchase had up to 3 plants per cell. It is possible to use each plant if they are not to grown together. Check water at least 3 times a week.

The Benefits of Getting Produce From a Farmer – Part II | agriculture

A recent article caught my attention regarding the giant seed company, Monsanto Company, and the suit filed against them by 60 small family farmers, seed businesses, and organic agricultural organizations. For those of you who don’t know, Monsanto is the mega giant seed company who distributes genetically modified seed to those chosen to produce specific crops at the request of the federal government.Until I became aware of Monsanto, I figured that there were big farms and small farms, and that was just “the way it was”. As I researched Monsanto, I realized that their business practices were putting the choice of the American public at grave risk. I want to be able to eat foods that appeal to me, not necessarily the foods that the government decides it wants to subsidize.Buying your produce from a local farmer will do two things:
It will give you a much greater variety of food than you can find in the grocery store.
You will know that “organic” means something healthy and the food is unlikely to have originated from a genetically modified seed.
The problem with Monsanto’s genetically modified seeds is that they contaminate all the crops in the surrounding ares, destroying organic seed for the same type of crop. The argument for the use of genetically modified seed is to increase production and decrease dependency on herbicide use, both of which are believed to be false claims.There is fear that if Monsanto is allowed to continue to create genetically modified seed that contaminates and destroys organic seed, they will eventually have a complete monopoly on our food supply.Going into battle with such a mega-giant is not something I wish to promote. However, all of us should understand where our food comes from, what is behind the food that is grown and harvested here in the United States and how it came to be.Growing your own produce is obviously the ideal way to ensure the quality of your food, but that simply is not practical for those who live in urban areas. We are truly dependent on the small farmers of this country to bring us good, healthy, and nutritious food. By purchasing food from our local farms we are sending a message to corporate farming that we prefer to make our own choices and we have a greater variety of choice.Let me share my experience as an example. Prior to joining a CSA (community supported agriculture) I purchased my produce at the local supermarket. (Hint: the word super-market should alert you…) I found I was eating the same things day after day, week after week. After joining the CSA I discovered the true delights of Swiss chard, collard greens kale, mizuna, turnip greens, golden beets, kohlrabi greens, heirloom tomatoes in shades of red, green, yellow, orange, purple, and black, four types of cucumbers including lemon cucumbers that are out of this world, Easter egg radishes, royal turnips just to name a few new items in my diet.It has been proven that the greater the variety of the produce you eat, the healthier you are. How can genetically modified food possibly compete with this? I want choice in my food. By purchasing food from a local farmer, you, too, will vote for food choice both now and in the future.For more information about the genetically modified seed produced by Monsanto and the suit brought against them by small family farmers, seed businesses, and organic agricultural organizations, please go to: http://www.pubpat.org/osgatavmonsantofiled.htm.